tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 27, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PDT
as the world awaits the opening ceremonies and the lighting of the olympic cauldron, oh, danny boyle. can the oscar-winning film director deliver. >> am i going to see peter pan, captain hook -- >> yes. >> yes. okay. >> yes. we hope so. yeah. i mean, if they work, yeah. there's always this problem that you might have to cut things because they don't work. it's a live show. foreign faux pas. the brits have a field day with mitt romney's comments on whether london is ready or not. >> mitt romney has turned on the charm during his visit to britain by questioning the country's ability to host the olympic games. >> with a message that he wanted to get out from this trip has been obscured. if he's here to make friends, he's got a funny way of showing it. >> romney tried to take a mulligan today with matt lauer. >> i'm absolutely convinced that the people here are ready for
the games and in just a few moments, all the things politicians say will get swept away because the athletes finally take the stage, the games are about the athletes. that's why the games virtually anywhere they've been have been highly successful. who needs london. hoda and kathie lee aren't whining about being left behind. >> i can't do this! >> what? >> they are the best. hats off to them. good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. today in our daily fix, mitt romney probably can't wait for the olympic opening ceremonies to begin. he tried to smooth things over, his olympic gaffe today, but the headlines have been brutal. the daily mail called him a
party pooper. the telegraph said he was utterly devoid of charm. the london times headline was nowhere man, romney loses his way. eugene robinson is a columnist with the "washington post" and nbc's peter alexander joins us from london. peter, first to you. clearly they're trying to get past this and what could be a minor goof in any other context really, really did not rub the right way with the brits. >> i think you're exactly right. as the campaign advisors said to us in advance of this trip, this was an effort for romney to listen and learn and today, again, he's getting an earful from the british press and from officials in this country. another headline remarkably read today mitt, the twit. notices athose are not the headlines the camp was looking for when they arrived in london. romney hopes as he heads to israel tomorrow morning, and we will be on that flight, that that trip as well as tonight's opening ceremony, the festivities here, will really wash away any hard feelings that
may exist. to be fair, it does demonstrate how just a small gaffe overseas can really be magnified. when we speak to people, when you hear from boris johnson or david cameron, it looks like a huge thing that's exploded but as you talk to some people on the streets, a lot of them are still just learning about it from the papers. they barely heard the initial comment. the problem is it's resonating because in that echo chamber it gets passed all around this country and europe. >> of course, the echo chamber back here. eugene, this was the trip where he was going to show his prowess overseas and show
>> right. it wasn't a great way to start. one of the papers said his charm offensive was utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive. so it's interesting that he's a guy who thinks he knows a lot about the olympics. when mitt romney is in situations when he thinks he knows a lot, he's the expert. peter, the other question -- >> the amount of information you have to date. we've laid out all that's required by law and then some. the same as john mccain. we just don't want to give the dnc more things for them to pick at. distort them the way they have already. >> peter, what are they saying inside the campaign?
have they cleared decided what would be -- speculation from people outside the campaign, when we asked campaign advisors and i travel with them throughout the year, they continue to say exactly what mitt romney has said and obviously, as you watch this, as it continues to evolve, the thought is if they stay consistent, they will have to stick to this because if later down the line, they then reveal any of these tax returns, it's only going to blow up. seems they have drawn their line in the sand on this as something that's very important to mitt romney. he used almost the exact same language earlier today he's used to us in other interviews you've done with him and others have done with him over the course of this campaign. i think it's pretty clear that that's where they're going to draw their line and hope to stick to that. >> at the same time people are focusing on mitt romney in london, the gdp numbers today, terrible. second quarter growth only 1.5% from april through july. gene, not good news. this is more political head wind against the president. >> this is very bad news for the economy.
politically it's bad news for the president. it's very good news for mitt romney because he will see it as an opportunity to get the conversation back where he wants it. he wants to be talking about how slow and sluggish the economy is and how he tells americans he will make it better. >> eugene robinson, thanks for sharing with our daily fix today.
and bon voyage to you, peter. i know you're traveling to israel. we look forward to your reports all weekend from there. thanks for joining us from london. british commentators had a field day with momney's olympic gaffe mitt romney who wants to know whether name tag? name plate? a lot of big names there. thank you very much for being with us. first, we want to talk about foreign policy. first, i know you're not connected in any way with the romney campaign. this for any nominee is not the way you want to start your foreign tour. >> yeah, but that is true, but it's going to turn out to be a tempest in a tea pot. everybody knows that it was a gaffe. everybody knows that romney is going to be a very -- that governor romney is a very strong supporter of our allies, very strong supporter of the special relationship with the uk and he'll have lots of opportunity to make that clear. >> want to ask you about your
long-time colleague because condi rice has an op-ed in today's "financial times." she writes if americans want the tectonic plates of the economic system to settle in a way that makes the world freer and more prosperous, the u.s. must overcome its reluctance to lead. how in your view, or perhaps if you can explain the former secretary of state's view, is the u.s. not leading? >> well, there are a number of things in her op-ed. it's a good read. i think she feels we need to be more aggressive in helping post-revolutionary states and some of the pre-revolutionary states in the middle east to do political reform. and for those states that have been through revolution to reform their economies and provide inclusive political systems. i think she's concerned about the cuts in the defense budget and i think she believes that we need to fix our economy, because a strong economy and fixing our fiscal problems is a prerequisite to everything we do
overseas. we need to be active in asia. we need to be part of an active free trade agenda in asia. we have been lagging, what's going on in the region. i think that's the sense of her piece. in a number of respects, we're lagging, not leading. >> there's a lot of speculation and she was tweeting on domestic issues. certainly she was tweeting on aurora, colorado, having come from denver and having deep roots in that community. but she's been speaking out a lot and i understand she also resigned from the kennedy center board in recent weeks. it does seem like she is positioned in case lightning were to strike. i know she said she has no interest in politics but everyone in park city, utah is still talking about the speech she gave and how impressed mitt romney and ann romney were with her speech. can you see a context where she would agree to take a place on the ticket? >> she's a terrific person, she's a terrific personality, she's a very electric speaker.
she was a terrific secretary of state. but you need to speak with her and she has been very clear she said she does policy, not politics. >> speaking of policy, syria. you alluded to that when you talk about your perception of the failure to lead. what should the united states be doing on syria? there are criticisms now coming from opposition leaders that in this critical moment in aleppo, for instance, that there has not been enough support from the united states. >> i think regrettably, we are lagging events, that on the ground, these brave people who are taking on this very grim regime are doing extremely well, and they will succeed and assad will go, and regrettably, it will be with very little credit to the united states. and i think that will have an impact on how the post-assad syrian government and syrian people think about the united
states. we have an opportunity to help these people. politically we can help the opposition come together and provide a unified cross-sectarian message to the syrian people. i think that will help erode the pillars of the regime that remain, the military, minority groups and business community, and we should be helping getting them arms. arms to groups that are willing to support a government that is cross-sectarian and inclusive. >> how could you make sure it doesn't get into the hands of al qaeda, because there are reports of al qaeda elements among some of the rebels. >> look, the longer this goes and the longer assad is in power, the more sectarian the situation is going to become, the more it's going to destabilize lebanon and iraq and the more it opens the door for al qaeda. we need to bring this to a conclusion. assad needs to go. he needs to not go eventually. he needs to go now. and we can as we are on the ground, if we get on the ground, can vet those groups that are
providing arms and ensure as best we can that they are committed to an inclusive democratic syria. that's what we need. that's what we need to do. >> steve hadley, always a pleasure to see you. thank you very much. >> nice to be here. thanks much. up next, cyberwars. how do we keep america safe? and have a question you want me to answer? join me wednesdays at 1:00 eastern during the olympics when we are not broadcasting, we will be on the web for a live web chat. [ male announcer ] this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news.
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spectrum of security issues. >> interesting timing. is he trying to upstage mitt romney's trip to israel tomorrow? joining me now is connecticut independent senator, joe lieberman. senator, you have seen a lot of things. there haven't been too many public bill signings in this administration and it was passed earlier in the week, five days later a public signing in the oval office. coincidence? >> purely coincidental, i'm sure. >> right. >> no, there have been public signings pretty regularly, but this is a coincidence of timing but i'm sure it's one that doesn't displease the white house because it does allow the president to say what he did, which i think is true, which is that there has been in the last few years, notwithstanding the political or diplomatic disagreements between israel and the u.s., very strong military and intelligence cooperation and this legislation i think is part of that.
>> i want to ask you about your cybersecurity bill which passed a very important procedural hurdle yesterday but first, with mitt romney going to israel and sheldon adelson suggesting he's going to be there and he's going to raise a lot of money to try to drum up support, get the jewish vote for romney against president obama, do you think it's a problem that president obama has not been to israel in his first term? >> well, i think it does bother some people who are pro-israel, not just jewish people who are pro-israel but a lot of non-jews, christians particularly, of course, who are as well. but president obama's not the first president not to visit israel in his first four years. if there's a problem in the pro-israel community in the u.s. toward the president, it's about some of the policies such as the call for the freeze in building in jerusalem and the west bank
and the reference to the borders. that will all be debated in the campaign and people will make their judgment. >> i want to ask you about the cybersecurity legislation, because this is a compromise bill. the white house now supports it. the chamber of commerce was critical of it, saying it's too -- imposes too many regulatory burdens on the business community and on the other side, people say it doesn't do enough. is this sort of goldilocks, a bill that's just right or are you satisfying no one and not really improving american security? >> the good news on yesterday's vote to proceed to debate, our cybersecurity legislation was really overwhelming. i was thrilled with it. 84 in favor of proceeding. normally in past years, just going to a bill was thought to be automatic. a lot of stuff this year has been stopped before it even got to the floor. but we understand we have some work to do. we do have opponents on both sides, i think that means we've found a good sweet spot common
ground. the point is that everybody acknowledges and i think that's why we got 84 votes yesterday. this is a real crisis. we're vulnerable. we are constantly under attack already. our enemies are putting in place the ability to attack us in a time of war even more seriously and billions and billions of dollars are being stolen every year, hundreds of billions, in fact, through cybertheft. so we got to raise our guard and that's what this bill tries to do. the big compromise we made, originally when there were regulations about what the private sector owners of critical infrastructure like electric utility grid, dams, water dams, financial systems, transportation, et cetera, that what they had to do, we mandated at some point that the government could tell them to do it, we didn't have enough votes to pass. i think it's the best way.
so we've got everything else in place in our bill but now it's voluntary and we give them an incentive which is if they opt into the cybersecurity system, they get some significant immunity from liability if there is an attack. >> senator joe lieberman, thank you very much. have a great weekend. >> thank you. you, too. all the best. >> thanks. the countdown is on in london. we get a sneak peek next with the british ambassador to the united states. but first, call me maybe. the u.s. swim team hopes you will.
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♪ >> nbc cameras were able to get a sneak peek at last night's dress rehearsals inside the olympic stadium in the east end of london. of course, her majesty, the queen, will be at the big event and stephen colbert got a preview of royal protocol last night from the british ambassador to the united states. >> do you have to report to her? >> not very often. >> really? but sometimes? >> sometimes. >> is it true that you don't turn your back on her? >> that is true. >> you just back out of the room? do you have like mirrors on your palms and go -- does it go beep, beep, beep, when you're going away from her? >> it's not quite like that. what you do is you do a little neck bow to take your leave, then you can actually turn and walk out forward so you don't walk into the furniture backwards. >> there's no bowing here. joining me now, the british
ambassador to the united states. good show. you held your own against colbert which is not an easy task at all. >> i did my best. thank you. >> how much excitement is there about tonight and the role of the queen, the role of the royals? we have seen a lot of them already at the games, at the preliminary games. this is really an extension to many of us here of the great jubilee. >> well, it's a very big deal and i think london complete with the skeptics and all those things you know the british are famous for, really has embraced these games. we're pleased that it stopped raining. there are millions of people out there, it's really a very, very big deal. it's taken seven years in the planning. we're very proud of the arrangements we made, very proud of the fact that such a complicated city has been able to adapt itself to needs of the games and that we have used the games to do a lot of much-needed improvement of the infrastructure of the city. we're ready to go and state secrets as you said, but tonight, we are going to have a great party. >> now, her majesty is supposed
to have some role in tonight's opening ceremonies. we tried to get danny boyle, the producer of all of this extravaganza, to talk about it. let's watch. >> how is she going to enter? >> i can't tell you that. >> you can't tell me much of anything, can you? >> i definitely can't tell you that. >> does she have to rehearse? >> not really. can't really tell you that, either. it's weather-dependent is the truth of that. >> whether she's there or not? >> no, no, no, no. don't start that rumor. no. >> do you want to spill the beans right now? >> i don't have any beans to spill. danny boyle can't tell you, i can't tell you. it really is something which has been kept under wraps but i think it will be a great event and people will be surprised by the originality and how different it is to what people have been used to seeing at an olympic opening ceremonies in the past. >> we saw that there was a bit of kerfuffle over mitt romney's olympic comments. david cameron was inspired to say something about it and boris
johnson of course, to 60,000 people. the press have just been brutal. talking about mitt romney's olympic blunder, hands gift to obama and all of the other headlines, really tough. it does seem a little strange that here this good will tour started off with as some say, not much charm and slightly offensive. >> it is tough. as you say, the british media are pretty unforgiving. i think mitt romney went with the best possible intentions. i talked to him just before he went and i know he said to me, said to the prime minister, said to everybody else he saw how thrilled he was to be in london for the olympics. i think he said a number of things since those remarks which make very clear that he does think we're ready and that he's looking forward to having a great set of games. >> what does this say about the special relationship, because i think americans are as excited about the london olympics as the brits. >> well, americans were wonderfully supportive at the moment of the jubilee and they
saw our queen standing in the cold and the rain and they were hugely impressed by what was done and the millions of people spontaneously on the street. you have a lot of affection for our monarchy despite having for reasons we understand turned your back. >> little fight 200 years ago. >> but you are very affectionate and you are warmly welcoming to members of the royal family here. that's part of the relationship. we have been very lucky. we had the queen's jubilee, we now have the olympics. it is part of a very special year for us. we are thrilled the united states is part of it. more than half of the global sponsors for the olympics are american companies. people have voted in numbers by going there, they voted with their money to support us and we are really delighted by the degree of support and interest that we are getting from america throughout all these great events this year. >> let's just say this is the first time the olympics are in london i believe since 1948. >> yes. >> right after the war, and when we had all fought and had the victory to celebrate but also the rebuilding, so it's just so
thrilling for us that it is in london. we are happy to be here with you. >> that's nice to hear because yesterday i was asked why they were in london, not new york, because the new yorkers wouldn't have minded having the olympics this time but the united states has had the olympics many times. we're thrilled that it's gone back there. thrilled that there's so much interest. the first lady is there as well as governor romney. we're thrilled the weather is looking a bit better and we're looking forward to a set of games which we will entertain the world and has helped us to a great deal of continuing rebuilding, as you put it, of the city. not just after the war, but we have done a great deal to the east end of london which needed it so the legacy of these games will be very special for years to come. >> thank you so much, sir peter. more up next, gloomy news on the economy and the politics of all that. this is "andrea mitchell reports."
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more economic pain today. it could translate into political pain for the president. the commerce department reported today that the u.s. economy grew only at a rate of 1.5% in the second quarter and that is the worst showing in nearly a year. for the president, it is a reminder that no matter what happens on the campaign trail, it's the economy still causing head winds. with me now is bill burton, co-founder of the pro-obama super pac, priorities usa and former deputy white house press secretary. and david winston, republican strategist and president of the winston group. obviously involved in the romney campaign as well. thank you very much to both of you. bill, first of all, the economy. you can do all of the fancy commercials and everyone is producing on both sides, but you've got growth of only 1.5%. >> well, i think those numbers tell us something that most of the american people already know right now which is that this is a very difficult economic moment
for this country. the question that voters are going to have is who is best suited to take us into the next term of this presidency and actually keep growing our economy. now, when the president took over, the economy was shrinking. we were shedding jobs at a rate of 700,000 jobs per month. we're adding jobs, more than four million jobs have been added since the recovery started. the economy is growing, not shrinking. there's obviously a lot more work to do but i think that when people look at the competing visions for this country, people want to keep growing and they don't want to go back to the same kind of economics that got us into this disaster that we're in. >> i want to ask both of you, david and bill, and bill, you're directly involved in the campaign advertisement for priorities usa, the other thing that we are seeing is that in the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, both candidates are being hurt by the negative ads. clearly the backwash is against both of them. the second highest against the president, negatives 43%, 40% the highest mitt romney has ever seen. is this campaign ever going to get back into a positive mode
from both camps? >> well, i think that's kind of a little bit of the doctrine of political campaign consultants to this point, how much negative can you load on the opponent when what the country wants to hear is how you are going to solve the problems and how we are going to move forward. i want to go back to bill was saying about going back to the policies of the past. at this point i would say let's go back to the reagan policies of the past. at this point in time, in 1984, reagan's economic growth was four times, four times the size of what we just saw reported today, and if you go back to 1992, when the famous phrase "it's the economy stupid" was generated and contrast the growth rate, back in 1992, the economic growth rate was three times the size of what it is today. so if the economy stupid was generated out of that, i don't know how you characterize this particular economic situation. >> but david, just to be square on this, both ronald reagan and george herbert walker bush, who was the president at the time of that campaign slogan for the democrats, both of them agreed
to tax increases in a mix with spending cuts. so both of them agreed to things that mitt roey and the republicans on the hill in particular have not been willing to concede. >> well, if you remember, after the initially after when george bush agreed to that, there was a recession shortly thereafter and then once we got beyond that is when we saw 4% growth. let me go back to reagan. reagan's economic tax cuts didn't actually kick in until about '83 which is when we saw the economic growth. remember, he ripped off four consecutive quarters of 8% growth or higher. that's a remarkable difference. i'm sure the president at this point would be willing to accept george h. bush as four consecutive quarters of 4% growth. understand, this is a truly horrific situation and right now, his policies have done nothing to get us out of this. >> bill? >> you know, it's interesting, david brings up 1992. well, at this point in 1992, clinton was actually ahead by about 15 points. the challenger in that election. if you look at mitt romney right now, the reason that he's either a little bit behind or tied with
the president is because the american people don't trust his economic vision for this country. i think the more they get to know mitt romney, the more they realize that he has the kind of vision for this country that's not going to help the middle class. it's going to help the wealthiest at the expense of the middle class but it's not going to be the sort of thing that gets our country on the path to growth that it needs to get to. >> we have to leave it there. >> part of the reason is because of that phrase, it's the economy stupid, was so effective, yet it was triple the amount of economic growth we're seeing now. >> bill clinton didn't win because of one phrase, david. >> i think a lot of people would give him credit for that -- carville might argue on that just a bit. >> to be continued. david winston, good to see you. thank you very much. bill, good to see you. the international aids conference is now completing its meetings here in the united states today. it was the first time the conference has been in the united states in a quarter century. the theme this week is turning the tide with leaders ranging from bill gates to elton john. we interviewed him. hillary clinton and former first lady, laura bush.
>> the health of women affects families, communities and whole countries. healthy mothers make healthy families. when a mother dies, her children are up to ten times more likely to die themselves and are less likely to ever go to school. >> the lead scientist at the conference giving the lead address is aids pioneer, dr. anthony fauci, director of the institute of allergy and infectious diseases at the national institutes of health. well, this was such an important conference. are we at a turning point? is the tide changing? looking back at 1987, when the last time the conference was here, have we made those, are we closer to making the critical discoveries? >> well, we have made some critical discoveries where the tide can turn so what we've shown in a cumulative way over the years is that we now have the scientific tools, not all of them, but the scientific tools in prevention and treatment that
basic science has given us that if we implement them aggressively and properly, that we can see the turning of the tide of the pandemic which means the slope of the trajectory is going to go down and we are going to start seeing at various regional and global levels what we're talking about a pathway towards ending the pandemic. but that's not going to happen spontaneo spontaneously. it will happen if we really push the envelope. but we have the tools. >> we now have still 2.5 million cases of new infections a year, we have millions and millions of people, eight million people are receiving the anti-retroviral drugs but at the same time, we have millions more who need them and are not getting them. >> right. what we know now, when you treat people and get them on therapy and they stay on therapy, not only do you save the life of an individual, but you remarkably and dramatically decrease the likelihood that they are going to transmit infection to their
uninfected sexual partner. then we have modalities of prevention that we know when we implement them, work. major successes in prevention of mother-to-child transmission. major changes and prevention modalities that we never had before like circumcision in some of the developing world, decreases it by 60% chance of acquiring infection. these are biologically proven modalities which is the reason why we can say we just need to implement them. >> and that means money. the u.s. has led the way, actually, with the expansion in the money, the global aids fund under george w. bush, for which he is being heralded and bill clinton has led the way as well in communicating this around the world, the importance of all of this. hillary clinton added money to it this year. but at the same time, when will we see a vaccine? >> a vaccine is still in the stage of scientific discovery. we don't have a vaccine yet. we had a trial that was only
moderately effective, not ready for prime time. but the scientific advances that will give us a vaccine and we can't predict when, if you put that in the combination of preventions, then that trajectory decrease will be even greater. >> dr. fauci, thank you for your leadership on this. it's really inspiring. we will continue this conversation throughout the year, not only when the world is watching. >> thank you. up next, the politics of gun control. the candidates go on the record. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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syrian forces continue to hammer rebel held areas in and around the city of aleppo today, where fears are rising this a massacre could be imminent. nbc's chief foreign correspondent, richard engel, is in northern syria for us with the latest. >> reporter: the main concern is the city of aleppo. it is syria's commercial capital, a city of three million people. it has been surrounded by syrian forces.
witnesses tell us that it has been again attacked today by syrian aircraft. people are leaving aleppo and today, a u.n. humanitarian official said that there is concern that there could be an imminent full scale assault on aleppo. has this war reached a turning point? certainly a corner has been turned and most people believe that it's just a matter of time before bashar al assad is driven from power but from what i've seen here in parts of syria now held by the rebels, the rebels just don't have enough weapons to deliver a decisive blow and bring a quick end to this conflict. there is also a lot of frustration with u.s. foreign policy. the united states has criticized syria and spoken a lot about potential humanitarian disasters and spoken out against massacres, but what the people here really want is actions. they want to see weapons in their hands. they want to see turkey, the united states and other countries that have a voice in this conflict to at least allow them to arm themselves to
prevent the kind of potential disaster that could be coming soon in aleppo. andrea? >> richard engel, one of the few western journalists inside syria. president obama meanwhile has spoken out about gun control this week. critics say the first time really since taking office. responding to pressure from the national urban league and gun control advocates in the aftermath, of course, of the aurora, colorado rampage. >> recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation, that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage. but i also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that ak-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. >> in his interview with brian williams this week, mitt romney said that he does not believe america needs new gun laws but he seemed to leave an opening, small opening, perhaps, for stricter background checks. >> there have been in the past, there has been an effort to say
let's do background checks on people who seek to obtain weapons and those kind of background checks are oftentimes able to find people who are disturbed or people who committed crimes in the past, and i have indicated that those kinds of background checks consistent with the law can help prevent a crime. >> joining me now is the "washington post" ruth marcus and national journal's major garre garrett. we're not going to see either campaign address this or embrace it. jay carney was again saying today it's because congress won't take it up. nobody supports it because of the power of the nra or not? >> well, the president doesn't feel and mitt romney doesn't feel this is terrain worth revisiting. i wrote this week that there are executive powers the president possesses where it wouldn't require an executive order. he could use things previous presidents have used, including
a once card carrying member of the nra, george herbert walker bush, that would not have prevented aurora, colorado. i'm not recommending these as policy choice, just saying there are things available to the president that he could do under executive power that already exist, have been accepted by the courts, that could tighten access to assault weapons and do things that gun control advocates believe would enhance public safety. they are outlined on the website, national journal.com. but the justice department and the white house are totally silent as to whether or not the president is even looking into these things, let alone doing them. the president suggested the urban league speech his hands are completely tied. my piece suggests they are not. >> ruth, it is very clear there was a resounding silence from the president after the gabby giffords event, even in his state of the union speech, no mention of guns. >> well, it's not a surprise but it is a disappointment. i had to, when i was listening to the president after he met in the hospital room with the poor young woman who had had her blood spurting out of her throat
and the friend who saved her, and i thought how frustrated must he be not to be able to come out and say we have to get these kinds of guns off the streets. one of the things that's amazing is both of these candidates in the past have supported more serious forms of gun control and they feel incapable in the current political environment of doing that. major's colleague, ron brownstein, actually has an interesting column arguing that it would not be at least for the president, political suicide that some people think, that the kinds of voters that are still up for grabs for him, college educated women, minorities, are actually supportive of gun control but obviously, as you can see from the white house's response, the campaign's response, and everybody on the hill, that's not the conventional wisdom. >> they're worried about west virginia, missouri, pennsylvania, ohio, michigan. they're worried about places where -- north carolina, virginia, clearly -- where the gun lobby is very, very important and there is a conventional wisdom that the
1994 midterm losses by the democrats was because of the assault weapon ban. >> that is a myth that has grown far larger than actually existed at the time. that was a factor. it wasn't the dominant factor. there were many factors in 1994. there is also a theory that has built up around al gore. he was the down. there's a sense among democrats that was the last time it was brought up and they didn't win and they should shy away from it. the other thing at the state level is longer prison sentences, concealed carry laws and other laws have moved this process forward where gun control has proceeded and gun rights have expanded. >> thank you very much. up next, what's next from london. join us.
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so the big story of the next 24 hours is clearly the kickoff of the london olympics, tonight's opening ceremonies, excite building around the world. events in london, that's where we find michelle kosinski. do you have any idea what the opening ceremony will be like? it's starting very shortly. >> less than two hours now. it has been a well-kept secret with tens of thousands of people this week having watched rehearsals. a lot of speculation about that. we know a little bit about it. it is supposed to be very british, including the hughes of live farm animals like sheep. that's raised plenty of eyebrows. we've seen the excitement building over the last 70 days really as the olympic flame has made an 8,000 mile journey around the u.k. with the final leg being today as it was rode
down the thames. officials are keeping it a secret of how exactly they'll transport it here to the limb peacekeeper stadium. it will be used to light the olympic calderon by another mystery, who has been chosen to light it? there are plenty of david beckham fans out there hoping he is chosen as he was not chosen for the olympic team. at least 1 billion people around the world, andrea, a seventh of the planet's population. >> count me in there as well. have fun. bobs cou s coulcostas will be h opening ceremony. and this does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports."
don't forget to live me for web chats during the olympics. my colleague has the latest on what's coming up next. >> it's half time in the presidential race. we'll take a look at how the president and romney stack up in the newest poll. then how pennsylvania democrats are trying to get voters prepared as the state's new voter i.d. law goes into effect. and outrage over the olympic committee's decision not to hold a moment of silence for the victims of the terrorist attack at the 1972 munich games. it's our "news nation" gut check. [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where you don't back down from a challenge. this is the age of knowing how to make things happen. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have.
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